Mission Date: 18-07-1940 1829-1917
Aircraft: Bf-109 E1
Markings: Black 3
Aerodrome: Marquise West
Status: Bailed out near French Point.
Damaged 2 to 3 Hurricanes and 1 Spit. Unclear what happened to them afterward.
10-5-1940 - Bergen - the Netherlands
Airfield Bergen before 10-5-1940
It was a typical spring morning. Nonetheless the 2 long time friends and pilots of 4 JaVA (JachtVliegtuig Afdeling), a squadron flying the new Fokker G.I Jachtkruiser, hadn't had much sleep that night. Reports had come in about German bombers overflying the Netherlands on their way to England. Aside from the overflying planes, an unfortunate regular sight these days, it didn't help their sense of well being that border guards had reported increased activity on the German side.
Until now the Netherlands had luckily remained neutral, but the wolf to the east was known for ignoring that. All had seemed well, the bombers were now over the sea, but still it was uncomfortable having heavily armed planes so close to their bases while their best planes stood outside. Unfortunately these were forced to be lined up on the small concrete ramp, since the rest of the field was too marshy for parking.
The 2 friends were standing outside, a concerned look on their faces as they looked at the Jachtkruisers. If only that field had been dryer they had made sure the planes were spread out more. Strangely yesterday it had still been a dry field, however seemingly without rain the planes had started to sink into the ground, forcing the mechanics to move them to the small ramp.
Suddenly at 3:55 Amsterdam Time they again heard bombers closing, however closer than before, alarmingly close. Then they saw them with bomb bay doors opened approaching the airfield. At the same time the sirens started the first row of G.I's exploded, blocking the way for the others. After the attack had ended most Fokkers had been damaged or destroyed.
Airfield Bergen on 10-5-1940
The 2 men had survived the attack and looked at the wreckage with disbelief.
“If only this field had been drier, we could be up there fighting these bastards” said the tallest and most dashingly handsome of the 2. "How did the field suddenly become so marshy?"
“Say, wasn't there an accident on the road next to the field between 2 trucks yesterday?” replied the other, a joyous character, who was 1st Lt, who for unknown reasons insisted to be called the same as an obscure district in a small American city.
“You're right, that accident! They were tankers. What did they transport again?” asked the first one, a 2nd Lt, who in turn strangely wanted to be called like a fictional character, which he insisted was from a well known book series (however no one seemed to know that series).
“I believe it was English Tea and German Beer. Of course! German Beer is well known for the fact that it contains water. Sabotage!” his friend exclaimed.
“Are you mad, it must have been the English Tea. Remember, it was German beer, not American. It's not pure water like tea. Tea can make a field more marshy than beer. Betrayal! We have been stabbed in the back by the Allies so the Germans could destroy us easily.”
“That strangely makes sense, but you always have been the smarter one of us... but the British would never sacrifice tea for a trick like this." Answered the 1st Lt. "No. It can't be them. But first things first. The odds of staying here are impossible, so we must find a way to get to England to help fight the Germans.”
“Wait! I saw you drinking tea this morning. You've done this, haven't you?” Retorted the 2nd Lt. He drew his gun and while aiming at his friend continued. “This betrayal won't stand. I won't stop until I have my revenge on the allies...and on you”. He shot, but his now enemy jumped out of the way and shot back while landing on the ground, but he also missed. Shouts sounded in the distance and they each ran their own way. Had they only looked to one of the more remote hangar sheds there, they would've seen the large empty barrels of vodka...
18-7-1940 - Northwest of Cap Gris-Nez
Earlier the 5th had taken off as a whole successfully and had stayed together for a long time. Though we had a lot of new pilots, our recently acquired operational status was well deserved, for we had no trouble keeping up with the other 2 Staffeln. Incredible progress for such a short time of training. When over the channel the Gruppenkommandeur had called out a group of bombers heading to Cap Gris-Nez. When heading there enemy Hurricanes engaged us and the 5th engaged.
I managed to damage 1, possibly 2 Hurricanes in the ensuing furball. My aim unfortunately was bad. This furball made the Staffel become spread out. Alone I saw a Hurricane attacking another 109 low on the deck near Wissant. The 109 sadly got shot down. I managed to get a shot at the Hurricane, but again my aim was of and I found me being chased by him. Diving along Cap Gris-Nez to Boulogne I managed to shake him off but couldn't reacquire him due to the low sun.
A Staffelmember called out being chased by enemies along Cap Gris-Nez so I headed there from over the channel. I encountered a Spitfire who was streaming and got some shots in him from his 6, hitting him but not disabling him. Evading a turn-fight I started to climb, though the Spitfire seemed to have little trouble keeping it's energy in a turn and the ensuing climb to follow me. Eventually he started to slowly drop off and I considered going on the attack again...when I saw that Hurricane approaching.
It was him again! I recognized the markings on his plane immediately. After that fateful day in may I had not forgiven him his choice for tea rather than beer. We had met after that. O yes, almost every sortie I had flown during and after the Fall of France we had encountered each other. In these engagements we both had at different times been on the advantage so I knew I could win, if only...flames erupted. My engine was on fire and the cockpit was immediately full of smoke. Damn, a well aimed shot. I had to act fast. Jettisoning my canopy I got out of my seat. Luckily my clothes and parachute didn't immediately get burned and I managed to jump clear. With great relief I saw the parachute opening. This relief however quickly got replaced by raging anger. "I will get him" I promised myself. Maybe he can even be made to see the light of beer instead of tea. However, I would first need to encounter him again.
Note: Except for of course the part about beer and tea, the rest of the first part is more or less an accurate depiction of the events at Bergen airfield on the morning of may 10th 1940